Rugby Union

Eddie Jones wants England to work hard to turn fortunes around

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Football News

England head coach Eddie Jones wants to hear his players complaining over the coming weeks knowing that it means his methods are having the desired effect.

Jones has named his Elite Player Squad for the RBS 6 Nations with Dylan Hartley and Chris Ashton restored to the fold, while Tom Youngs, Tom Wood and Brad Barritt are among the big-name omissions.

England open their Championship against Scotland at Murrayfield on February 6 and Jones plans to break the cycle of insanity that he believes has been evident since the World Cup triumph in 2003.

"We have to create an environment in the team that dictates the players want to be absolutely fanatical about wanting to be in a winning England team," Jones said.

"I have been employed by England, not to be the saviour of English rugby. My job is to create a winning English rugby team.

"That's what I have to do and that is what I am going to do. If players don't want to be part of that they don't have to be. The players have a choice, if they don't want to work hard they won't be there.

"It's going to take more than what they have ever done in their lives to create a wining England team, that's the reality of it. Because otherwise it would have happened by now.

"Something has to change. It's the old definition of insanity. Someone expecting different people to do the same thing over and over again hoping to get different results.

"It doesn't happen. If we do the same as what we have done since 2003 then we will get the same results.

"I have coached for 20 years and the number of players I have found that don't want to do it are absolutely minimal.

"You will find players that complain about it. I have no doubt that in the first couple of weeks there will be complaints coming out. I will be happy if that happens, because then I will know we are getting change.

"I think that the players are going to find it difficult, because sometimes if you play in the Premiership here and you do well then you get selected for England and you are quite comfortable. We have to make the players a little bit uncomfortable."

Jones insists Manu Tuilagi can perform a similar role to New Zealand centre Ma'a Nonu as one of a cluster of England players who have the potential to become world class.

Tuilagi is expected to make his first Test appearance in over 18 months in the final two rounds of the Six Nations against Wales and France once he has built up match fitness after being stricken by a long-term groin injury.

Jones believes the 24-year-old, who has played most of his rugby at outside centre, is better suited to the number 12 jersey - the position double World Cup winner Nonu filled 103 times for the All Blacks.

Tuilagi is among a group of five players who Jones has identified as having the ability to become the best in the world, with George Ford, Henry Slade, Maro Itoje and Jack Clifford thought to be the others.

"Manu can play both inside and outside centre, but when he's fit, he can be a Ma'a Nonu-type player," said Jones, who has included Tuilagi in his Elite Player Squad for the Six Nations.

"He's got an exceptional skill-base and exceptional feet. He's got the ability to carry the ball through the line, he's got a short passing game, he can develop a kicking game too. He can be one of the guys that the team is built around.

"I have no doubt that in this current squad of 33 there are four or five players who if they change their mindset and they change their attitude, they can become world-class players.

"If we get four or five world-class players - and I'm not going to name them - then we can be the dominant team in the world. That's what it takes."

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